Sunday, March 21, 2010


Emirates Championship to take place at Abu Dhabi’s final racemeeting of the season


Meydan, home of the 2010 $10million Dubai World Cup, generously sponsors the final meeting of the Abu Dhabi season on Sunday with the six race card highlighted by the Group 1 Emirates Championship for Purebred Arabians.

The maximum field of 16 have been declared for the 2200m feature, including last year's winner Remarkable Man for trainer Erwan Charpy. However, owned by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, he has been deserted by jockey Richard Hills who won on him last year. Hills instead partners Nesnaas, trained by Gill Duffield and fifth in the HH The President's Cup over the same course and distance.


Hills explained: "Sheikh Hamdan has three in the race and though on I won on Remarkable Man last year, Nesnaas has been in better form this season. These choices are never easy – hopefully I have made the correct one."

In HH The President's Cup, Nesnaas was behind both Rabah de Carrere, who was third, one place behind Vire Volte and both merit the utmost respect. The latter is trained by Saifaldin Deeb who has enjoyed a prolific season and stable companion Jinad is another to consider.

The Eric Lemartinel-trained Shadiyda appears best of the rest in an open contest.

The Listed Abu Dhabi Championship, over the same trip but for Thoroughbreds, has attracted the maximum field of 14 with South African trainer Mike De Kock responsible for three. Both Wonder Lawn and Biarritz won at Jebel Ali last week and Frankie Dettori, who rode both on that occasion, rides Wonder Lawn with Kevin Shea (who was suspended on that occasion) on Biarritz.

Hunting Tower completes a strong trio for the trainer who won the race last year with Mr Brock and said: "I expect all three to run well as they all produced their best performance on their most recent outing. It looks a decent contest but we have to be hopeful granted luck."

Dhruba Selvaratnam has a good record in this race, winning half of the last four renewals, and he relies on Meeriss who was runner-up in the Jebel Ali Stakes earlier this season. He will be ridden by Kieren Fallon who said: "It is a nice spare ride and he has to have a chance."

Wayne Smith won the prep race impressively on Detonator for Musabah Al Muhairi and the jockey is hopeful: "Conditions suit him and he has plenty of ability. It is a better race of course but he will go close with luck."

Ali Rashid Al Raihe trains Monte Alto who has been a model of consistency throughout the season and is another to consider under Richard Hills.


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